For some families, the person who really runs the household is a domestic helper. Without her, dishes would go unwashed, toilets would start to stink and kids would run amok with sharp objects.
If you have a domestic helper or are planning to get one, maid insurance is something every employer needs to buy. Knowing what sort of coverage it provides, wage compensations or what outpatient expenses are included in the policy are super important.
Most people have no idea what maid insurance really offers, which is a shame as it also means they won’t know when to make a claim even when they’re entitled to do so. How much does maid insurance cost? How do you choose the best maid insurance for your helper?
We came up with a comprehensive guide to what you need to know so that your domestic helper (as well as your expenses) are well protected.
Maid insurance policies in Singapore in 2019
|Maid Insurance Policy||Premium (26 months)||Outpatient Expenses||Third-party Liability||Wages Compensation|
|Sompo MaidEase||$230.05||$1,000||$2,500||$15/day (up to 60 days)|
|Etiqa eProtect Maid||$260.96||$1,000||$5,000||$30/day (up to 30 days)|
|MSIG Maid Insurance||$267.50||$1,000||$5,000||$30/day (up to 30 days)|
|FWD Essential Maid Insurance Plan||$280.34||$1,000||$3,000||$30/day (up to 30 days)|
From time to time, these maid insurance plans also go on discount and/or come with freebies. For example, there is an FWD maid insurance promo code (MAID25) that gives you 25% off your premiums (valid until 15 May 2020).
For convenience, you can compare premium prices and the latest promotions all in one page via MoneySmart’s maid insurance comparison page.
Maid insurance regulations in Singapore
Before your domestic helper arrives in Singapore, you are required by law to ensure she is covered by (1) medical insurance and (2) personal accident insurance.
|Maid Insurance Component||Required Coverage in Singapore|
|Medical insurance||$15,000 per annum. Cover inpatient care & day surgery|
|Personal accident coverage||Up to $60,000 per annum. Cover sudden, unforeseen, unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death|
If you check out popular insurance providers like NTUC Maid Insurance, you will notice that no matter which plan you choose, they all consistently provide $60,000 in personal accident coverage.
It’s important to know that, while most maid insurance policies will include the components that are required by law that we just talked about above, most will also offer a customised selection of other benefits.
So what kinds of coverage can you expect from maid insurance plans?
What does maid insurance cover in Singapore?
Given the number of domestic helpers balancing precariously on ledges as they clean their employers’ windows, it’s a good thing maid insurance includes hospitalisation benefits and surgical expenses. In the event that your domestic helper falls sick, gets injured or lands in the hospital, you can make a claim for the medical bills.
This is worth taking note of, especially as some employers don’t like sending their domestic helper to the doctor unless they deem it absolutely necessary, fearing expensive medical bills. Knowing that insurance covers treatment will enable employers to send their domestic helpers for medical attention whenever necessary.
Looking after your home can be a hazardous task. Imagine your helper getting bitten by your beloved furkid, getting scalded while cooking, and so on.
Maid insurance in Singapore should offer coverage not just for hospitalisation, but also for outpatient surgery and other treatment. That means that if your domestic helper visits a hospital but is not warded, the medical bills can still be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Note that outpatient expenses are usually only covered if the injury is due to an accident, so make sure you know when this coverage kicks in. How much outpatient expenses you can claim depend usually on how much your policy cost.
For example, FWD Maid Insurance has outpatient expense coverage that increases by $1,000 with each tier:
- Tier 1 – $1,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage
- Tier 2 – $2,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage
- Tier 3 – $3,000 Outpatient Expense Coverage
As mentioned above, personal accident coverage is mandatory and pegged at $60,000. If your domestic helper is involved in an accident which leads to her death or permanent disability, your insurance policy must offer coverage of at least $60,000.
Some higher end plans offer slightly higher coverage, like the Sompo MaidEase Superior which has a $70,000 personal accident benefit.
These payouts will enable you to do right by your domestic helper and/or her family back home, including paying for repatriation if this is not included by the insurance policy.
If your domestic helper dies or is permanently disabled, some insurance policies will provide a separate repatriation payout so you can send her home. These costs can be pretty expensive, and it would be right and best to have the deceased return home to the family for proper and respectful burial.
If you are hiring a domestic helper from anywhere but Malaysia, you will be required by MOM to buy a $5,000 bond from a bank or insurance company.
In addition, if you’re hiring a Filipino domestic helper, you’ll also have to issue the Philippine Embassy with a Letter of Guarantee for a security bond of up to $7,000. This letter should come from a reputable insurance company and be valid for at least two years.
So make sure your insurer will cover you for the bond(s). This means they will undertake to pay the government/Embassy if you have the bond forfeited, and then recover the costs from you.
Some maid insurance policies will pay you a small daily allowance per day if your domestic helper is hospitalised or unable to work. This is meant to compensate you for your domestic helper’s wages, so that she is still able to earn her wage whilst recovering from whatever happened to her. NTUC Maid Insurance, for example, provides up to $30 a day in wage compensation for the duration of the maid’s inability to return to work.
Third party liability
While your domestic helper is hopefully not going to go out and destroy someone’s property, in the event that she or you as her employer ends up on the receiving end of a lawsuit, you’ll be glad if your maid insurance offers third party liability coverage. This can go up to $5,000, even for basic plans (Etiqa eProtect Maid and MSIG Maid Insurance).
Alternative help benefits
When your domestic helper gets hospitalised or is out of action, some insurance policies will reimburse you a certain sum per day so you can hire alternative help.
Critical illness cover
Not all policies offer critical illness cover, but those that do will pay a lump sum if your domestic helper is diagnosed with a critical illness. The coverage would function similar to any other insurance policy with similar coverage. For example, the Sompo maid insurance plans will pay you a lump sum if your helper is diagnosed with any of the 6 dread diseases such as major cancer, stroke, heart attack, etc.
Maid’s personal belongings
Don’t be surprised if your domestic helper has her own smartphone and laptop. Some insurance policies will protect your maid’s personal belongings, so if they get stolen or damaged you can claim compensation on her behalf. For example, FWD offers $300 to $500 (depending on the tier of your plan) in allowable claims for such items.
If you’re the distrustful type, you’ll want to look out for maid insurance that protects your family’s belongings from theft perpetrated by the domestic helper.
If something tragic happens to your domestic helper and as a result you’re forced to hire another, some maid insurance policies will pay agency fees to find you a new domestic helper. Note that your first domestic helper’s contract must have been terminated due to a serious enough event like, er, death. So don’t use this an excuse to change maids on a whim.
Don’t forget to compare maid insurance policies before you choose one
Hiring a domestic helper may not be cheap. Fortunately, maid insurance policies are – most costing you no more than $300 every 2 years. Always compare the best maid insurance policies in Singapore before committing to one.
What maid insurance policy do you have right now? Share your reviews in the comments.